Thursday, 11 November 2010

Great Northern Diver...Fleetwood

This week a Great Northern Diver was found on the Marine Lake at Fleetwood. It seemed to be hanging around so I decided on a visit to try and photograph this uncommon visitor to the Lancashire coast. I arrived at the Marine Lake on a lovely sunny morning and could immediately see the Diver and half a dozen big lenses trained on it's every move.
For the next hour or so we were treated to some fabulous views as the GND patrolled it's chosen area of the lake. There were also present a group of red breasted mergansers which kept trying to feed in the same area but the diver drove them away and fiercely defended his territory. It was perfect for photography and many images were taken of this uncommon visitor. It is apparently a young bird and is obviously in winter plumage but still looked splendid set against the blue water of the Marine Lake.
It would be very nice to photograph in it's summer plumage with it's black and white chequered back and white barred collar. This is possible as small numbers of birds do spend summer around the coasts of Scotland. As far as I am aware the Great Northern Diver has only nested successfully in Scotland on one occasion in 1970 when two adults were seen with two young. It is still there as I write this post but the current very stormy weather may not be to it's liking and it may move on. I have shown above my efforts at capturing this special bird and also an image of the red breasted mergansers as they were seen off by the diver. I felt privileged to have had the opportunity to see this splendid bird at such close quarters and dream of the day when I may see one in it's handsome breeding plumage.


  1. Ahhhh....just as I was about to switch of the computer BR publishes his GND post.

    Brilliant Brian....just brilliant.

  2. Marvellous photos Brian, what a great display the Diver & Mergansers put on for us. Hopefully the wildlife will be equally as obliging when next we meet.



  3. Lovely pictures, Brian. We had a GND come up the Forth about this time one winter, and I couldn't identify it in its winter plumage until I heard that wonderful call --- it's a wonderful iconic bird.

  4. Pete, Cliff and Elizabeth. Thanks for looking in and your kind comments.Cliff and Pete hope we will meet up again sometime. Happy birding.

  5. You got some great pictures Brian and a better kind of day than I did.

  6. Another splendid account of your forthgoings Brian!Always a pleasure to read.Keep up the good work!!!!!!